As life starts to get back to normal after the pandemic, the volume of applications coming into the DBS is growing too. Sports clubs, children’s activities and day-care centres for adults are resuming, and managers are starting to renew checks after a long time off work or volunteering duties. It’s a lot to take on, so it’s perhaps no surprise that the DBS is pushing the services of its Outreach Team, who are there to help and support managers and business owners with their DBS checking process.
What’s Their Job?
The Partnership and Engagement team forms the link between employers and the DBS head office. They share information, and work with other professionals in the safeguarding community to develop best practice and processes. A recently launched Regional Outreach team provides a dedicated point of contact to cover a specific area of the UK. Currently, there are six different regional officers, covering all of England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Their contact details and email addresses are on the DBS web page.
There are a number of ways in which your regional Outreach Officer can support your business and help you with your DBS checks. These include:
- Being a single point of contact for any queries you have about the process in general or the specifics of your organisation.
- Attending training events, meetings, or conferences to discuss any aspect of the DBS process.
- Deliver presentations or run workshops about DBS checks for managers, staff or volunteers.
- Visiting businesses for face-to-face discussions about DBS checks.
- Advising on the duty to make barring referrals.
The DBS website showcases the work of Allister Woods, their Outreach Officer who covers Northern Ireland. Allister has been working with the NSPCC Child Protection in Sport Unit and led a recent Barring Workshop with the aim of explaining both the process for making a barring referral, and the importance of doing so. The benefit of having a DBS member of staff lead the workshop is that participants can ask questions to the experts and share experiences with colleagues working in similar roles in other organisations. A number of similar events are planned for the future, focusing on the voluntary sector and the requirement for safe recruitment of volunteers.
Even if you’re not interested in setting up a workshop yourself, get in touch with your regional officer at the DBS and introduce yourself. Ask to be included in any training they have planned, and chat to them about what else they can do to support your business in getting its DBS checks completed quickly and efficiently. Going forward, having a single point of contact at the DBS who can resolve queries should make your process run more smoothly, and as your outreach officer gets to know you and your business, they can also suggest additional workshops or training which would be of benefit. Another benefit of engaging and getting involved is the possibility of networking with other people working in the same region, industry, or voluntary sector as you.